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Shaheen, Hassan and Shea-Porter Announce $6.5 Million in NOAA Funding for UNH/NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center

Funding will Continue the Operation of the Joint Hydrographic Center, a World-Renowned Program That is a National Center of Excellence in Hydrographic, Ocean and Coastal Mapping Sciences

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded the University of New Hampshire (UNH) a $6.5 million grant to continue operations at the Joint Hydrographic Center (JHC). A world-renowned program, the JHC has made UNH an international leader in coastal mapping.

“For nearly two decades, the Joint Hydrographic Center has made New Hampshire a leader on ocean mapping and hydrographic sciences and has made significant investments to further education, research and technological advancements related to our understanding of the world’s oceans,” said Senator Shaheen. “Ocean mapping is critical to protecting our coastal communities and impacts how to care for our wildlife, preserve our environment and support our regional and national economies. Continued funding for the JHC is imperative to ensuring researchers of today and tomorrow have the necessary tools to achieve these objectives. I’ll keep reaching across the aisle to deliver the federal support the JHC needs to build on its important work.”

“The Joint Hydrographic Center has placed our state at the forefront of developing technologies to help ensure safe and efficient navigation and more accurate mapping for exploration,” said Senator Hassan. “I am pleased to announce this federal funding that will support the important work of the Joint Hydrographic Center and in turn support our coastal communities and maritime businesses by improving our navigation systems and ocean mapping.” 

“UNH operates one of the foremost research facilities in the world in ocean mapping sciences and hydrography,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “The Joint Hydrographic Center leads the way when it comes to state of the art ocean mapping tools and technologies, including autonomous surface vehicles. These technologies support our national defense, improve management of fisheries in New Hampshire and across the US, and enhance ocean navigation safety. Congratulations to Larry Mayer, Andy Armstrong, and the entire team at UNH for their continued leadership in this critical field.”

 “We are delighted that NOAA continues to value the contributions that UNH has made to the development of leading edge ocean mapping tools and technologies,” said Larry Mayer, the Co-Director of the Joint Hydrographic Center and Founding Director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at UNH. “Our collaboration with NOAA over the years has led to a number of innovations that have addressed key issues including navigational safety, ocean health, resource development and protection, and fundamental exploration of earth's last unexplored frontier. We look forward to continued collaboration and even greater innovation in the years to come.”

“NOAA is very pleased to continue our valuable relationship with the Joint Hydrographic Center at the University of New Hampshire,” said Rear Admiral Shepard Smith, Director of the Office of Coast Survey at NOAA. “The NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center has been the source of important innovations that have transformed hydrographic and ocean mapping technology both in the United States, and around the world, benefiting both NOAA and commercial operations."

The JHC is a national center of excellence in hydrographic, ocean and coastal mapping sciences. The JHC supports NOAA’s mission of sustaining resilient coastal communities and economies by developing tools used to advance ocean mapping, and by training the next generation of hydrographers and ocean mappers. Research produced by the Center addresses the integrated use of ocean and mapping technologies for safe navigation, sound fisheries management, national security, environmental and habitat studies, and continental shelf mapping.

Senator Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, which is responsible for funding this critical program. For years, Senator Shaheen has fought to regularly secure funding for the JHC through the annual appropriations process.